The initiatives in the matrix are intended to address the key target groups and contributing factors that need to be addressed to improve road safety in Canada. The integration of these factors is key to its success. Initiatives in the framework have been proven effective in Canada or other OECD countries and as such, are deemed to be “best practices” in reducing or preventing fatalities and injuries.

Key Target Groups Contributing Factors
Impaired Driving (alcohol, drugs, fatigue, distraction) Speed & Aggressive Driving Occupant Protection Environmental Factors
Young drivers        
Vulnerable road users        
Motor carriers        
High-risk drivers        
General population        

Key Target Groups:

The key groups of drivers being targeted are defined as follows.

  • Young drivers: Drivers under the age of 25 years.
  • Medically-at-risk-drivers: Drivers whose existing medical condition may affect the safe operation of their vehicles, their occupants and the safety of other road users would be targeted under this group (e.g.: epilepsy, ischemic heart disease etc.). This includes driver performance, related to the aging process, deemed to be outside of the boundaries of normal driving behaviour (e.g.: poor cognitive or perception skills, slow reaction time to decision-making situations, visual or auditory limitations) that may result in collisions.
  • Vulnerable road users: Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists and persons in personal mobilized devices (e.g.: motorized wheelchairs and scooters).
  • Motor carriers: A person or entity who is responsible for a commercial vehicle (e.g.: driver, carrier).
  • High-risk drivers: Repeat offenders with patterned illegal driving behaviours (e.g.: recurring incidences of alcohol/drug impaired driving, traffic violations, collision involvement or suspended/prohibited drivers).
  • General population: Road users who benefit from strategies/interventions/regulations/legislation introduced to make roads, vehicles and road users safer.

Contributing Factors

The key causes of collisions being targeted are defined as follows.

  • Impaired Driving: Includes all forms of impairment, such as impairment resulting from the ingestion of a substance (alcohol, drugs (prescription, over-the-counter or illicit)), as well as due to actions that result in driver impairment from natural causes (fatigue or distracted behaviours).
  • Speed & Aggressive Driving: Includes driving at speeds beyond posted legal limits on all road types in urban and rural settings, and driver behaviours deemed outside of socially acceptable norms that put other road users at risk of injury or contribute to crashes and casualties. It also includes driving too fast for road conditions.
  • Occupant Protection: Includes issues pertaining to proper restraint use among all road users, vehicle technology enhancements (crashworthiness and crash-avoidance) and safer roads (e.g.: dangerous roadside obstacles, lighting, signage, etc.).
  • Environmental Factors: Includes issues/factors that may affect the likelihood of crash occurrence (e.g.: roadway configuration, roadway construction, road surface condition, road and roadside design, weather conditions, urban and rural infrastructure, etc.).


For each target group and contributing factor there may be more than one intervention or strategy. These strategies can address users, infrastructure or vehicles or some combination of these factors. A range of strategies is recommended to address road safety issues. These strategies are in keeping with the objective of broadening the successor to RSV 2010 to incorporate safer systems concepts.

In many cases, the effectiveness of some program elements can be short-lived without a simultaneous and sustained application of other elements (e.g.: enforcement efforts working in concert with communication and awareness). The strategies are defined as follows:


Includes activities that provide knowledge and/or test the capacity of a person to demonstrate appropriate behaviour with respect to road safety.

Communication and awareness:

Includes all activities that contribute to increased knowledge of key road safety issues (e.g.: regarding risks associated with drinking and driving and non-use of restraints) by the general public that may lead to safer road user behaviour.


Includes activities that facilitate the delivery of enforcement strategies by police services (e.g.: knowledge sharing, legislative and policy initiatives, resources).


Includes capturing and compiling more complete, uniform and timely data (crash, trauma, exposure) to expedite the identification of emerging crash/victim trends/issues, or for the development of new or revised motor vehicle safety regulations. It also includes the use of all available mechanisms to monitor road user behaviour (e.g.: surveys, questionnaires or electronic devices to monitor restraint use, vehicle speeds); to identify road infrastructure deficiencies or to evaluate the effectiveness of vehicle safety technologies (analyzing crashes involving vehicles equipped with advanced safety features (e.g.: Electronic Stability Control (ESC)).


Includes provincial/territorial/federal regulations/legislation introduced to improve road user behaviour (e.g.: sanctions for excess speeding, etc.), make roads safer (e.g.: requirements for road safety audits for all new road infrastructure, etc.) or safer vehicles (e.g.: improved crash avoidance technologies) and all policies introduced by these agencies to facilitate and expedite their introduction.


Includes technologies aimed at helping drivers to avoid collisions (e.g.: electronic stability control, intelligent speed adaptation) or making vehicles safer in the event of crash involvement (side curtain airbags); improving driver behaviour (e.g.: fitment of ignition or seatbelt interlocks in vehicles); and making roads safer, weather travel advisory systems or automated enforcement technologies).

Road infrastructure:

Includes initiatives that strengthen the infrastructure element in road safety (e.g.: road and roadside, intersections, signage), summer and winter maintenance practices, and traffic management within work zones.